Drug Pricing Reform In 2020 Gets Harder Due To Third Coronavirus Bill
Senate and House versions of a pending coronavirus stimulus package take off the table a key legislative vehicle lawmakers planned to use to push for bipartisan drug pricing reform until at least after the 2020 elections, signaling a potential reprieve for the pharmaceutical industry.
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Newly enacted requirement for US health plans to report granular drug price and rebating data to the government suggests that the great rebate debate of 2017-2020 won’t be over for long. The first public release of aggregated data will likely come in 2023 – and that might be when Congress is ready to take up drug pricing again.
A decade after the Obamacare deal to limit patient exposure to the coverage gap, rising list prices are minimizing the impact for patients taking high-cost medicines with large out-of-pocket costs. Possible fixes have received bipartisan support from Congress, but are likely on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Early versions of US Congress's coronavirus relief bill contained a number of policies that would have benefited drug firms, but they didn't make it into the final bill. However, the $2 trillion package does provide pharmaceutical companies with relief from the threat of drug pricing reform until after the 2020 elections.